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El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands, lying south west of its more well-known neighbours. It has been nicknamed 'Meridian Island' and it is situated in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa.
El Hierro's remote location and cliff-lined shores once earned it the reputation of being the 'island at the end of the world', until Christopher Columbus' famous voyage of 1492 put paid to such claims.
The delight of arriving at El Hierro by ferry is not to be missed. Ferry crossings operate most days sailing from Los Cristianos port on the neighbouring island of Tenerife to Valverde on El Hierro. Tenerife itself is well connected to the rest of the Canary Islands and mainland Spain as well as featuring two airports so should be used as a base for onward travel to El Hierro.
The remoteness of the island has always been one of its most seductive attractions. As is the case with all the Canary Islands, El Hierro is volcanic and the terrain is dramatically mountainous with huge craggy cliffs against which the Atlantic waves crash fiercely. The island has recorded only one volcanic eruption, lasting a month, in the 1793; since then the juniper forests, evergreen woodlands, and pines have reclaimed much of the terrain, although in the south of the island there is clear evidence of the volcanic activity in the strange, unworldly rock formations to be found there.
El Hierro has much to offer the visitor that is truly unique; so much so that the island was designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 2000, which means that 60% of its territory is protected to preserve its natural and cultural diversity.
The translucent waters surrounding the island provide ideal conditions for diving revealing the extraordinary marine life which dwells below them. It is testament to the natural beauty of these shores that each year El Hierro hosts one of Europe’s biggest underwater photography competitions.
Restaurants and accommodation are in plentiful supply across the island offering traditionally prepared food and a warm welcome.
The ship etc was good but key details were not provided or at least not obviously. We did not know we had to go to an office with ID to get tickets. But as I say. Ok, but Direct Ferries need to look st the clarity of their information
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"Two Naviera Armas ferry trips"
The check in was swift, only a couple of people in the queue in front of us. I say this as I tried to check in online as it said the queues would be avoided that way. I wasn't able to check in online which was annoying at the time, so I phoned Naviera Armas and was told that there was no need to check in online. So a bit of confusion/contradiction there. The crossing was fine except for the fact that my niece and great nephew were both seasick. I was helped by a man selling coffee and snacks but it was embarrassing as it wasn't a rough crossing and unpleasant to passengers near us. Apologies to them! Apart from that, I love seeing Tenerife in the distance and La Gomera getting nearer. The return trip involved some difficulty of changing tickets, for reasons to do with no buses at the right time running from Valle Gran Rey to San Sebastian on Good Friday. We wanted to return from Valle Gran Rey Harbour, Vuelta to Los Cristianos. We achieved it after half an hour of the receptionist's time. The problem was to do with the booking being with Direct Ferries not Armas. I would rather book direct with Armas but the internet didn't allow it. Annoying. Pleased to say I was reimbursed almost the fully amount of the ferry we couldn't make due to no buses. Hope this all makes sense!
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Very polite staff, good enviroent.
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"Review from sailor with 8+ years expierince "
Hello, my name is Edgar and I'm ex Purser on Tallink/Silja Lines ferries. I have 8 years of experience working as a Purser (hotel manager). So I will try to give a short review from the professional side. Overall the operations of ferries are enjoyable. They meet the high standards and quality services. The crew members are very welcomed and always ready to help you. They are friendly and professional. The level of English language must be higher. The public announcements for clients on English were mixed of Spanish and English (they start in English and use some Spanish words) This might confuse only English speaking tourists. The international at sea remains - English. Although there were no issues with Spanish announcements. The cleanliness of the ferry is on a superb level. No issues at all! Keep on a perfect job! Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with CarGo organization. Shortly it was complete chaos. We came 1h before the Ferry departs ( Tenerife Los Cristianos - La Gomera Valle Del Rey). The traffic jam was on both sides. The cargo crew members had different information. We were asked to stay in the car and wait for further information. After 5 minutes another crew member asked where we going and asked to go somewhere else and wait there. (Literally, there was absolutely zero space or any possible parking) Then we took the first possible line and I asked to crew member can about the Ferry. He informed us that everything is correct and we are in the line for La Gomera. After 15min the first crew member who asked to just to wait informed us that this line was for El Hierro and we need to wait. I was tired of playing ping pong game and went to speak with office members. There were competent to answer all my answers and informed me that our Ferry will have a small delay. I went back to the car and just kept listening to the different information received my cargo crew members. I was not alone who was unsatisfied with service. I spoke to the people in the line and they had the same feeling. Then 10min before the departure the crew members start check-in and many tourists had issues with check-in terminal. So half of the tourist were sent to check-in at the office. I have a plastic card with residence and normally it works with no issue. The beginning of our Naviera Armas experience was not pleasant. But after we came on the ferry everything changed. The entire atmosphere of the boat was nice and friendly. We really enjoyed our trip. When we took a trip back to the Los Cristianos we had zero issues with cargo. Hope this review will help to improve your services. I wish you all the best! Kind regards, Edgar.
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